Northern California Educational Leadership Consortium

NorCal Educators' Digest

Join the NorCal ELC Network and we’ll send you an email when each newsletter is available. Our newsletter is an information source for project activities, events, resources, school success stories, and hot topics for schools in the Shasta Region of 21CSLA.

NorCal Educator's Digest

November 2022

NorCal ELCs 2022 Coaching Retreat

In early September 2022, the Northern California Educational Leadership Consortium (NorCal ELC) hosted its first coaching retreat as the 21CSLA project entered its third year. This year NorCal ELC has expanded to include ten coaches, about 45 teams, and 300 participants. The aim of bringing the group of coaches together in person was to capture the collective expertise of the group and do some coaching calibration. The theme for NorCal ELC this year is  “Building the Habits of Continuous Improvement.” Connection was also high on the list of outcomes, and for many coaches, this was the first time meeting one another in person. Coaches came from as far away as Humboldt County as the Shasta Region encompasses eleven northern California counties. 

The morning was spent in reflection on the NorCal ELC project’s impact over the last couple of years. Former team leader, now coach, Mele Benz shared, “NorCal ELC in some ways rescued us in what was a very difficult year”. Tim Nordstrom from Trinity County shared that he was drawn to the ELC work due to the networking around the critical rural context. Jim Southwick of Tehama County, noted, “The connections we make with one another are invaluable;  this (NorCal ELC) is another example of how we are helping educators and administrators have those connections”.  Several coaches reported they, themselves, were California School Leadership Academy graduates from a previous version of this CDE program. 

Coaches reviewed their successful coaching experiences. Key concepts mentioned included:  building relationships, cultivating trust, having a sense of the rural lens, and helping leaders explore needed support. 21CSLA coaching is designed to build capacity for all involved with emphasis on listening, vulnerability, being a thought partner, and providing a sense of safety so that learning from failure is the norm.

The team reviewed the 21CSLA Guiding Documents (Google Doc) for coaching which reference:

Leadership coaching for equity is an intensive, highly individualized form of professional learning that is rooted in principles of adult learning and driven by the needs and context of the leader. It results in reflective, resourceful practitioners with the agency to propel their own professional growth and capacity for transformational change. Through coaching, leaders have the opportunity to engage in the most customized form of support that is informed and driven by their self-determined learning goals. In effect, what the coach provides is structured, supported opportunities for the learner to think about their experiences, knowledge, hopes, and goals, rather than merely experiencing and reacting to daily stimuli. This process helps create new knowledge, shifts attitudes and beliefs, and can lead to lasting change.”

Noelle Apostol Colin, Coaching Coordinator from 21CSLA joined the group on Day Two and engaged the group in an equity-focused consultancy protocol (Google Doc) utilizing coaching lenses. Apostol Colin noted that she appreciated being with people who think deeply about systems change and equity work. “Our role as equity-centered leadership coaches”, she noted, “ to realize we are not the experts. Not only are we not done learning, but schools also have never been the kind of system we are seeking to create. Our job is to help other people imagine what’s possible and create something new.”  

Closing out the day, Program Coordinator and Professional Learning Director, Dr. Michael Gubransen expressed excitement for the upcoming year, gratitude for the coaches, and a hope that coaches choose to remain with the project in future years. For more information on NorCal ELC, contact Dr. Michael Gulbransen.

CDE Division of Special Education Webinar

Improving Equity with Culturally Responsive Universal Supports with Dr. Ambra Green

  • Thursday, December 8th, 2022 at 12 p.m.

During this free 90-minute webinar, Dr. Green will share how schools continue to suffer from a history of strategically placed systemic barriers. Participants will learn to identify areas of the school or district-level improvement within Tier 1 practices (e.g., function-based thinking, evidence-based practices) and policy development within their MTSS to effectively enhance student learning. Sponsored by the State Performance Plan Technical Assistance Project.

Register here.

NorCal ELC Webinar Series

We’ve sponsored a series of webinars that focus on increasing equity in education and social and emotional learning. Join the NorCal Equity Community of Practice even if you missed the first session. Upcoming sessions will be live cast and interactive on Zoom.

NorCal Equity Community of Practice 2022-23

With Lily Chang - Coordinator of Continuous Improvement, BCOE

  • Session 2: Thursday, January 26th, 2023 @ 3:30-5 PM
  • Session 3: Thursday, April 20th, 2023 @ 3:30-5 PM

Achieving equity in education is necessary to improve the outcomes for students and staff, especially those who have been historically marginalized. It’s imperative that educators come together to prioritize equity as it relates to race and culture, address systemic racism, forms of oppression and exclusion, and identify unfair practices and policies that contribute to inequitable outcomes. Participants will deepen their learning and awareness, share resources and tools, collaborate and network in order to move to action.

Register here (PDF).

KQED's Mind/Shift Podcasts

Have you checked out any of the MindShift podcasts recently? MindShift says, “It's easy to see a child's education as a path determined by grades, test scores, and extracurricular activities. But genuine learning is about so much more than the points schools tally. MindShift explores the future of education by highlighting the innovative – and sometimes counterintuitive – ways educators are helping all children succeed.”

Listen to the latest episodes. 

CCEE Resource - Microlearning Modules

“Learn from colleagues who have been in your shoes, as they share specific skills and strategies to improve engagement and learning in the classroom”. Short 5-8-minute videos are provided to support substitute teachers, paraeducators, and other instructional staff. Videos contain immediately applicable tips, strategies, and tools shared by teachers in classrooms like yours across the state. Microlearning modules are also supplemented with downloadable handouts, instructions, and other materials and resources

Browse microlearning modules.

Rural Debate Initiative

Shared by the CA Rural Ed Network -- The Rural Debate Initiative (RuDI) is a non-profit organization that seeks to expand access to competitive debate across secondary school students residing in rural areas. RuDI will provide coaching and workshops to students that want to participate in debate and organize competitive tournaments and debate camps through a virtual format (all via video conference) at no cost to the students (no tournament entry fees, no debate camp tuition).

View the flyer & become a volunteer.